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Less Than 1 Percent Of Montgomery Commuters Bike To Work

by Aaron Kraut — May 13, 2014 at 9:10 am 182 6 Comments

Bike To Work Day in BethesdaThe Bethesda Row pit stop for Bike to Work Day on Friday will include a DJ, raffle prizes, free bike maintenance, food and drinks and giveaways all in the name of encouraging more people to commute to work via bike.

Judging by a batch of numbers released on Monday by the U.S. Census, officials pushing for more bike commuting have a long way to go.

According to the 2008-2012 American Community Survey, just 0.6 percent of Montgomery County’s 525,105 workers biked to work. That’s roughly 3,000 bike commuters countywide.

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) counts roughly 12,000 county residents as comfortable with biking or involved in biking issues. That’s a number WABA Executive Director Shane Farthing said needs to grow to about 600,000 (or 60 percent of the county’s population) before the county can truly be considered a great biking area.

Farthing and others spoke about the need to enhance the primarily suburban county’s biking culture at a forum organized by Councilmember Hans Riemer in April.

A little more than 75 percent of Montgomery County workers drive to work in a car, truck or van, according to the American Community Survey. Nearly 65 percent said they drove alone to work.

County Executive Isiah Leggett is scheduled to appear at the Bethesda Bike to Work Day pit stop, one of many that will be set up for across the Washington region on Friday morning.

The event, organized by Bethesda Transportation Solutions, will run from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. at the corner of Woodmont and Bethesda Avenues, near the Capital Crescent Trail tunnel.

The Capital Crescent Trail is a major bike commuter route to and from D.C., making the annual Bethesda pit stop a major draw with thousands of attendees.

The first 14,000 who register will be guaranteed a free Bike to Work Day t-shirt and one company will win a new bike rack to be installed outside of its office. Two bike commuters will win a Bicycle Spirit Award.

For more information, visit the event page. There will also be Bike to Work Day pit stops in North Bethesda (at the Nuclear Regulatory Agency), in front of Naval Support Activity Bethesda, in front of NIH and in Friendship Heights.

  • Norman

    I had hoped to bike to work when the ICC was finished, but since they axed the promised bike trail I can’t safely do so.

    • josfitz

      I don’t know what ICC to which you are referring. The ICC I travel, SR200 has elaborate bike trails.

  • Ed Jones

    Great news! This also means that less than 1% of Montgomery commuters are angry jerks who don’t obey any traffic signals and think they own the road. Yippee!!

    • Resident

      Huh? There are a LOT of angry and aggressive drivers out there. Look at the police sting in Montgomery County from last year. Over a 3-hr period, police officers had to cite a driver for failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk every 2 minutes. That’s basically every single driver, except when a driver was being pulled over and other drivers saw the police action.

      When do car drivers obey the laws? Where is this mythical place? Most drivers exceed the speed limit. Many drivers run red lights, after failing to “beat the yellow light.” How many drivers drive distracted, because they are texting or web browsing on their phones? Survey after survey indicates that large majorities of drivers do this at least some of the time. Why is this not a problem for you? It should, considering that a car driver kills someone nearly every day of the year in the greater D.C. region, and 32,000 nationwide.

    • DrLRonHoover

      And less than 1% of MoCo commuters are hyper-aggressive Lance wannabees who can’t be bothered to respect the rules of the CCT (warn before you pass-every time not just when you think of it, 15mph speed limit, etc.)

    • Bill

      Check with the traffic laws. Bikes do have rights to be on the roads, and deserve to be able to do so safely. That said, a great many cyclists routine fail to honor the traffic laws they’re obligated to obey. Splitting lanes, stop signs, etc.

      Note, cyclists ARE NOT PEDESTRIANS. Riding across crosswalks is not something that requires motor vehicles to stop. Sure, nobody likes to lose momentum when pedaling, but cyclists blasting across the crosswalk at Little Falls Parkway (among many areas) ARE NOT obeying the law.

      Motor vehicle drivers AND cyclists would do well to BOTH mind their legal obligations on the road, to say nothing of their manners.

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